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In the age of Instagram-worthy photos, most people are drawn to food that looks delicious. If it’s not aesthetically pleasing, there is a presumption that it doesn’t taste good. But if you dare to break through the veil of appearances, you might be in for a surprise. Check out these examples of the ugliest foods that have won the hearts of many despite looking completely unappetizing.
Mole is a popular Mexican sauce that is unappetizing when you first look at it because of its dark color. But wait until you get a taste of this sauce. It delivers an explosion of flavors from the spices, chocolate, and chilies. The depth of flavor is unmatched, which explains its popularity in Mexican cuisine.
Not only does kimchi look unappetizing, but it also has a pungent odor. Because of this, many people are turned off by kimchi. However, this fermented Korean dish is one of the most popular dishes in the world. It boasts a spicy, tangy flavor that adds complexity to any dish. You can eat it alone or as a side dish.
Goulash is a Hungarian stew that looks like a mishmash of various ingredients, like meat, vegetables, and paprika. It is colorful, but there is a rustic look to it. There is nothing fancy about how you present this dish. Despite that, you can’t say no to this dish thanks to it being extremely flavorful and hearty.
Like Goulash, gumbo is another beloved dish that has won the hearts of many for its taste and, less so, for its visual appeal. This dish has a lackluster appearance; at first look, it’s like a hodgepodge of ingredients in a bowl. But wait until you have a taste because it’s rich, smoky, and spicy. The Cajun spices really come through to deliver the flavor punch.
5. Chia Pudding
While chia pudding tastes really great if it’s flavored well, most people don’t care much for the slimy look of it. They look like tiny little eggs encased in slime. So yeah, not appetizing, but totally delicious.
6. Passion Fruit
While we know passion fruit tastes great, and we love to eat foods that contain it, the actual look of the thing is not so wonderful. Crack one of these open, and you’ll find a yellow, slimy inside with black seeds. It’s not exactly appetizing to look at.
7. Sloppy Joe
As much as we love them, there is just no way to make a sloppy joe look pretty. The seasoned ground meat, tomato sauce, and other delicious ingredients offer a beautiful symmetry of flavor and texture that’s a delight to your taste buds but not so much for your eyeballs.
Oysters rank among the world’s ugliest foods but don’t take them for granted just because of their appearance. If you can get past its slimy texture, your taste buds will be in for a treat. The palate-pleasing mix of umami and slight sweetness is something to savor.
9. Ghormeh Sabzi
Ghormeh Sabzi is a traditional Persian stew. Like molé, it is unattractive because of its dark green color and a mixture of ingredients that look messy. But the flavor will surprise you with its herbal, tangy, and spicy notes from a rich blend of ingredients.
10. Century Egg
Century egg, also known as the thousand-year egg, is a Chinese delicacy. It is a preserved egg from a duck or chicken that transforms the egg whites into a translucent, gelatinous jelly after weeks or months. The dark appearance makes it look inedible. But when you take a bite, you’ll be surprised by its complex flavors with a hint of umami. While it’s an acquired taste, it’s more delicious than you would think.
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This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.